Not a Sado Maso experience, but fine wining and dining. Boots & Flogger is a place of tradition. Some waitresses have worked here for 35 years already. I once came here when one of them was retiring. She showed me pictures from the old days when she was still young and just started working here. They were two friends and another lady was still going to continue. I wonder, how many bottles of wine they had together during those years.
The wine selection is concise: affordable house French red or white among a dozen by the glass; a dozen half-bottles; and a premium list of limited-availability reds and magnums of claret. As the sign also says, the Boots & Flogger offers ’port, sherry, and Madeira direct from the wood, around £3.50 a glass. If you are after something simple, affordable but nice, go for the own-label White No 1.
This is a wine bar, so they have no draught beer, but they do sell a small range of bottles (including London Pride). This is not really a place for a huge meal, but their cheese and meat platters are marvelous, along with the starters. The interior is all red leather and wood. Vintage bottles and barrels are everywhere. You can smell the history in the air.The warren of rooms with its wingback chairs set around small wooden tables feel like a gentlemen’s club (like Morecambe Bay potted shrimps, for example).
Try it for a special occasion or a business meeting. I used to meet my course director here, and we celebrated our graduation here as well. They have private cabinets here, so you can enjoy your drinks in privacy, like in old times. But this is also the place where Tory MP David Davis was famously overheard talking about the ‘Brokeback coalition’ last year. There’s a lovely hidden courtyard out back which fits 10 tables.
NB. It is not easy to find as their sign is very small, but watch out for the Cross Bones gates, decorated with messages and tokens. Cross Bones is a post-medieval disused burial ground established as a graveyard for “single women,” a euphemism for prostitutes, known locally as “Winchester Geese,” because they were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester. Food for thought I must say.
Boots & Flogger
10-20 Redcross Way, London, SE1 1TA
Closest tube: London Bridge or Borough
Open 11am-8pm Mon-Fri.
Food served 11am-7pm Mon-Fri